One thousand katas is a lot of friggin’ kata! This is my not-so-brilliant observation from our Week 4 challenge: Kata.
For a few years now, the 100 Kata Challenge has been going around the internet. In looking for a karate-themed week for our Savage Summer (See previous post for details), this had potential. However, with everyone else doing 100 katas, we decided on 1,000. With a week to complete the challenge, we set a handful of ground rules: such as including exercises of roughly the same length as Goju kata.
Here is what I learned from the challenge:
One thousand katas is a lot of friggin’ kata! I averaged over 2.5 hours per day for the week, with the last day requiring well over 3 hours to reach the goal.
I have forgotten as many kata as I still remember. I had to severely cull the list to blast through the katas I know. Logbook and video review cleaned up a few of the rare ones I wanted top of mind again.
I love the commonality of techniques across systems. More than once, I started one kata only to find myself finishing another (No, those didn’t count.) From Hanshi Legacy’s White Crane, to Tai Chi sets, or from Koryu-Uchinadi exercises to Goju kata, to Kobudo forms, so many techniques and postures cross over.
There is an elegance and beauty in kata performed purely for the sake of kata, whether it’s hard and fast, or slow and flowing. More often than not, in training I focus on bunkai. If you don’t know the application of a move in a kata, then you are only doing a dance. Well… sometimes its nice just to dance (just not for a 1,000).